Category 6, commonly referred to as Cat 6, is a cable standard for Gigabit Ethernet & other network physical layers that is backward compatible with the Cat 5/5e & Category 3 cable standards. Compared with Cat 5 & Cat 5e, Cat 6 features more stringent specifications for crosstalk & system noise. The cable standard provides performance of up to 250 MHz & is suitable for 10BASE-T, 100base-TX (Fast Ethernet), 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet) & 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet).
Like most earlier twisted-pair cable, Category 6 cable contains four twisted wire pairs. Cat 6 cable & connectors are all significantly lower than Cat 5 or Cat 5e, which uses 24 AWG wire. The increase in performance with Cat 6 comes mainly from increased (22 AWG) wire size.